Autohelm - software and hardware to enable self managing sail boats

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About the Project

Autohelm is a set of software and hardware designs that enable a radio controlled (RC) sailboat to evaluate its environment and sail as an unmanned autonomous vehicle (UAV) to a pre-determined location in an optimal fashion avoiding obstacles en route.

The art of sailing to a destination is tricky. Self steering systems exist for modern boats based solely on compass or wind direction. Today's most modern systems require constant human interaction to safely arrive at a destination. This project will develop a fully computer controlled sail boat capable of sailing to a destination while avoiding obstacles and dangers en route. The project will develop proof of concept boats beginning with modified radio controlled model sailboats and then progress into larger and larger boats over time. To accomplish this task the project will design and publish schematics for hardware as well as software. This project is much like the Autopilot project and will share and extend many aspects of it although the ultimate goal is to build a self managing sailboat rather than a helicopter.

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